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Wikileaks and the Paktia governor

One of the US embassy cables published by Wikileaks relates to the Governor of Paktia, Juma Khan Hamdard. It contains detailed allegations that the governor is not only illegally amassing a personal fortune from US government-funded contracts, but is also fuelling money to active members of his tanzim, Hezb-e Islami, who are currently fighting the […]

2010 Elections 10: The Case of Ahmadkhel

Up in the mountains along the border between Paktia and Khost provinces, where proud and strong tribes live and Taleban and HIG fighters roam, lies the district of Ahmadkhel. It is named after one particular branch of the large Dzadzi tribe(*), funnily enough after the one which is smaller in number there. Another subtribe, the […]

2010 Elections 4: Gardez déjà vu

In 2009, author Thomas Ruttig witnessed the presidential elections – and some of its irregularities – in Gardez, the provincial capital of Paktia in South-Eastern Afghanistan and tried to get a remote-view idea about what happened around it. So, it made sense to go here for the parliamentary elections, too, to check see what has […]

AAN Election Blog No. 28: Two Paktias?

A member of the US PRT in Paktia also experienced that amazingly brilliant blue sky over Paktia. But the elections she saw were quite different from what I have experienced there. When I went to the polling site in Tandar village in Paktia, some 22 kilometres away from the provincial capital Gardez, on election-day on […]

AAN Election Blog No. 24: Stuffing and Counting in Paktia

A few days after the election, Paktia is in counting mode. Results from the districts trickle in and are collected and reconcilied by the different candidates’ campaigns. Also reports about a lot of irregularities are coming in, despite the low coverage of independent election observers. On the first two days after the election, Afghans in […]

AAN Election Blog No. 22: E-Day in P2K

Frankly, when I went to bed on E-Day eve in Gardez, on Wednesday, I wasn’t sure whether it was a good idea to leave the UNAMA compound the next day to watch polling sites in Paktia province. A lot of people looked very sceptical when I mentioned this idea. Gardez centre was the maximum, almost […]